By Dale Gieringer, California NORML
The California legislature delivered good and bad news for marijuana advocates after activists walked the State Capitol for a medical marijuana lobbying day this Monday. On the plus side, Sen. Ellen Corbett withdrew a bill (SB 648) that would have banned e-cigarettes and vaporizers in non-smoking areas. After being informed that the bill would adversely impact medical marijuana patients, many of whom must rely on vaporizers in order to consume their medicine, Sen. Corbett agreed to consider amending the bill to address their concerns. The bill may be re-heard next session. Thanks to our many supporters who contacted their legislators against SB 648: CA Bill Against E-Cigarettes Harmful to Consumer Health
On the minus side, Sen. Darrell Steinberg withdrew his medical marijuana regulation bill, SB 439, which would have cleared up ambiguities in existing law by clarifying the legality of collectives that follow the state attorney general’s guidelines. The bill faced tough sledding in the Assembly Health Committee due to strong objections from the California Police Chiefs and Cal Narcotics Officers Association, which have consistently opposed legal regulation of medical marijuana. The possibility remains that a medical marijuana reform bill can be revived in the final days of the session, which ends on Sept 13th. However, sponsors will have to overcome persisting resistance in the Assembly, which voted down another medical marijuana regulation bill by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano earlier this session.